Pawnbroker Ramsdens is on track to hit full year expectations despite the summer heatwave hitting demand for foreign currency.
The group, which has 14 stores in Yorkshire and is the main shirt sponsor for Sheffield United, said foreign currency exchange income fell 2 per cent in the six months to September 30, hit by exceptionally hot UK summer weather as well as Easter trading falling outside the period.
Ramsdens' chief executive Peter Kenyon said: “The group has had a good first half, reflecting the strengths of our diversified business model and outstanding value-for-money customer offering.
"Whilst there have been headwinds for the foreign currency exchange market in the UK driven by ‘staycation’ trends over the summer, our investments in pawnbroking, jewellery retail and the store estate have delivered positive results and helped to underpin an overall first half performance in line with the board’s expectations."
The group has announced a 0.2p increase in the interim dividend to 2.4p, reflecting its growth and the board’s confidence in the future outlook.
Mr Kenyon said: "The collective performance of the new stores opened from late 2017 onwards has been ahead of expectations and we have made a solid start to the second half of the year across our business segments.
"We have momentum to take us into the seasonally important Christmas period for jewellery retail and, underpinned by the strength of our business model and brand, the board remains confident of delivering further progress on its strategic objectives and achieving its expectations for the year.”
Pawnbroking income, less impairment, rose 5 per cent following a 6 per cent increase in the loan book.
Jewellery retail revenue rose 27 per cent to £4.5m, including online jewellery retail which saw a 126 per cent increase year on year.
Pre-tax profits fell 3 per cent to £5m.
Mr Kenyon said: "Despite a backdrop of Brexit uncertainty impacting consumer confidence and struggling high streets, the board believes that our outstanding value proposition for customers will enable the group to continue to grow and prosper.
"The group has a good pipeline of store opportunities to achieve its objective of 12 new stores per annum over the medium term."